Past Event

Café Society: The Politics of Healthy Food

We are excited to announce that guest speaker Claire Pentecost will join the discussion at Intelligentsia on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Earlier this month, Bill Clinton brokered a deal to limit the availability of soft drinks in the nation’s public schools. This was simply the latest in a long line of actions attempting to combat the “obesity epidemic” that is plaguing the youth of America. The role of food, however, goes far beyond the simple sustenance that it provides. We derive comfort, status and a sense of identity from the food that we buy and the restaurants in which we dine. While the health implications of the food choices made by today’s youth is today’s topic du jour, the broader role of food, and the changing nature of the industry that supplies it, is largely lost in the current debate.

Food is fundamental in our lives, but it is central to our communities as well. The industry of producing and distributing food employs hundreds of thousands of people. Despite this, many low-income urban and rural areas lack access to high-quality, healthy foods. While these items are available in more affluent neighborhoods, the specialty stores that stock them often use the “organic” or “pesticide-free” to misrepresent the true nature of their origins.

The food industry is changing at a dizzying pace, and new technology now on the horizon only promises to speed this process. These changes are taking place with very little citizen input or government oversight. What do we, and should we know about the origins of the food we depend upon for sustenance? Are there steps we can take to broaden access to food that is high quality and healthy? Come to a Café Society near you to discuss this tasty issue.

This Week’s Articles:

Claire Pentecost is an artist and writer, using a variety of media to question the imaginative and institutional structures that organize divisions of knowledge. She has exhibited and lectured in the U.S., South America and Europe. Over the last ten years many of her projects have concentrated on industrial and genetically engineered agriculture and corporate control of production and distribution of our food. In Chicago she is mapping the growing alternative food system. Pentecost is Associate Professor and Chair of the Photography Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.